I began a journey in October 2007 that I hope inspires others to see that they can regain good health at any age. To date,  I have lost over 155 pounds and will lose another 40+ pounds. In early 2008 I hooked up with a medically supervised weight loss program and knew that this was something I could do. And, it involved no surgery so I began a journey of regaining my health. One of the cornerstones of any weight loss plan is to get plenty of exercise. I started out slowly on the exercise but resolved to keep at it. I started seeing my strength and endurance increase over the next few weeks.  My energy levels were as high as I could remember, literally.
   I met Katrina Navarro shortly after beginning my weight loss journey and got to know her and was encouraged through her support. After I had lost almost 100 pounds, I started running.  I started working with her when I made the decision to do some road racing.  I started working with Katrina and have started running in 10Ks around Austin and I found that with Katrina's work ethic and encouragement, I will be successful as a road racer. In April 2009 I was awarded the 2009 Fit Texan of the Year through the Governor's Office and the Texas Round-Up organization.
   The physical health benefits I have gained are tremendous. There are times when I want to quit exercising but I will not settle for that. I have the strength and the energy to do whatever it is I want to do and I have someone dedicated to help me attain the goals I have set out to accomplish.

-Denny M.-

OCT 2007
May 2009

John M.  

Denny M.
   The first time I realized I was overweight was in the 7th grade. I never thought I was skinny, but I sure didn't think I was fat. Junior High school girls had no problem fixing that. Catty and cruel, their comments hurt, and I found my self-esteem dropping.

   My first vivid memory of the awareness of my size was when I went shopping with my mom to buy pants in the 10th grade. I was so excited. I was going to get name brand jeans. The coolest kind. Even though the store we went to is long gone, I still remember it vividly, as if it happened yesterday. I had to buy a waist size 30. I was devastated. My self-esteem dropped even more. That is when I began my first diet.  I lost weight. All of it. I was skinny. 100 lbs. soaking wet and in the 11th grade. Boys liked me, girls envied me. I loved it. But I made one teeny tiny mistake, I never learned how to eat correctly nor incorporate exercise into my life to maintain my weight-loss.

   I lived in my own world of denial all through college. I thought I'm skinny today, tomorrow I will remain the same.  I soon met my husband and my oldest daughter was born. My husband became diagnosed soon after with Testicular Cancer.  I took care of my husband when he was sick and made sure that my family's needs were met, excluding my own.  I ate and got fatter.  After a year of treatments, my husband went into remission, I was elated, time passed and I still continued to eat.  I gained back the 75 pounds, plus; but this time I didn't lose them. My second child was born to a fat, tired and overworked mother. I loved my family, nothing else mattered.

    I worked and worked and worked. I put my children and husband first. I ate for stress, I ate for energy I could never obtain, I ate for depression, I ate for family gatherings, I ate because it tasted good, and I ate because it was there. Nothing else mattered. The cycle repeated itself, and I got fatter, and my self-esteem became non-existent.  My life became fixated around food and my self-image.  Looking back now, I had been in my marriage for many years, and with the exception of a brief period of time I was always fat, unhealthy, tired, unhappy and in survival mode. 
    My husband's cancer returned in 2007 and died at the age of 39 on January 23, 2009.  At my all time high of 241 poundsI started walking. I stopped eating fried foods. I stopped eating sweets. I researched books, web-sites, and read health magazines by the dozens. I prepared meals my way. Deep down inside, I knew the right way to lose weight. I knew that I had to eat and I knew that exercise does matter. I knew that if I continued to live the life-style of unhealthy eating I, too, was going to die at a young age. 
   I lost weight. Slow and steady, but with enough progress that I was stoked to continue and to succeed.  11 pounds down I felt I had the courage to join a gym. Intimidated by the majority of well-toned athletes that utilized my neighborhood gym, I felt it necessary that if I was going to succeed I needed to hire a Personal Trainer.  I was introduced to Katrina.

   Katrina became the guiding light I needed in order to make sense of the sea of confusing machines found at the gym and overall abundant weight loss myths.  She continues to provide me with the proper education I need in order to create a successful and healthy lifestyle that incorporates both food and exercise.  Katrina has empowered me to create and maintain a food journal.  The food journal enables me to learn more about my eating habits, daily caloric intake, and the amount of physical activity I have completed that day.  Her knowledge, expertise, and overall patience continues to amaze me.  She keeps me motivated to try new physical activities and encourages me to persevere even when I think I do not have the physical strength or endurance to even try.  Katrina always has high expectations for me throughout our training sessions. 
   Thanks to Katrina's rigorous workouts, I have currently lost an additional 36 pounds, creating a grand to 100lbs lighter. Now at 141! She has helped me re-gain my self-esteem, a suitable energy level to keep up with my two young children, and the mental clarity to remain focused throughout the work day. I'll be honest, food will always be a struggle for me, but I'll keeping working at it.  I'll continue to make mistakes, but I'll note it in my journal, make a plan to make healthier choices the next time and continue on with my efforts. It took me what seems a life-time to discover what could have made all the difference in my youth, but the love I have now for myself is worth the sacrifice and overall humble experience to lose the unwanted weight and maintain it.  
Aliza R.
   I had always cast a rather jaundiced eye toward personal trainers. As someone who is reasonably fit and motivated enough to workout regularly over the past two decades, I didn't feel that a PT could add much to my fitness level and I certainly didn't want a rah-rah type trainer, or worse, a bored, feigned interest type trainer who mumbles a cursory observation or two. I had certainly seen both types on the gym floors over the years and didn't think they would be worth my money or time.

   I first saw Katrina at my local gym and observed her with her clients out on the floor on numerous occasions.  She was different than other trainers I had seen.  I noticed her affinity and patience with older members. She expressed a confident enthusiasm with her clients.  When I was near enough to overhear her instruction, I was impressed by her knowledge and professionalism.  

   I had reached a plateau with my workouts.  I did just enough to maintain my fitness level; never pushing myself or increasing the amount of weight I was lifting or adding new exercises. It had all become rote and even a bit boring.  As middle age continued its inexorable march, I was showing the physical signs of complacency; weight gain, lower- back aches and stiffness.  After watching Katrina work at the gym, I decided to take the plunge and signed-up for a training session with her.

    It only took that one session to realize that I wasn't as fit as I thought. Katrina led me through core exercises and it was obvious to both of us that I fell way short. She confidently expressed what I needed to do and how we could do it together.  So began our relationship as client and trainer.

   Over the next eight months I benefited from Katrina's skill and passion for fitness in ways I never imagined.  The obvious included physical changes; a seven pound weight loss, a noticeable increase in core strength, a noticeable decrease in the dreaded middle aged male gut and the disappearance of lower back discomfort.  What I didnt imagine was how much I benefited psychologically from being challenged to accomplish more and how pleasing gratification by accomplishment is to the psyche. I've discovered that the relationship between a trainer and client is psychological as well as physical. The respect I have for Katrina feeds my desire to meet the challenges of her routines. She is generous with praise and the need for her approval helps me push that little bit extra when I think I can't. She has a demonstrable lack of ego in this partnership.  I find her professional but very friendly, incredibly fit and confident in her skills, but warm and inviting in her methods.

I highly recommend Katrina as a personal trainer, especially to novices or people needing motivation to succeed in their fitness goals. I look forward to a continued partnership with her.

As a poet once sang, "strap yourself to the tree with roots."? For me, Katrina has been that tree.
John M.
This page was last updated: September 24, 2019
James H.
I'll skip the sad story but the theme is one that many of us find ourselves in. Unhappy with our weight, unhappy with how we look, no energy, avoiding full-length mirrors, etc.  You know the drill. At 56 years old, 6'3' tall and pushing 260 lbs, I was a stand-in for the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

In March of 2010, I saw a e-mail from my employer about a Boot Camp exercise class that was starting up right after work on the premise. I was about to delete it along with the other spam but something made me stop and read it. A couple of my co-workers thought it might be fun and I thought it might at least get me in the mode/mood to start working out again so we signed up. I had reached the point where I had enough of being couch potato.

I dreaded the first day, especially when I saw how young and bouncy our instructor was.  She talked to us and provided us with a lot of information on diet, good foods, bad foods, oils and life styles (My impression that any doughnut was a good food was quickly put to rest).  Her knowledge, attention to our issues and everlasting support and encouragement made it easy for me to decide to really give the diet thing a chance. No more vending machines purchases (I'm still worried that Coca-Cola might go broke without me!) , no more grabbing a hand full of M&M's or other candy that people kept on their desk, no eating after 9:00 at night. With due respect to my Mother, I learned that it was OK to leave food on my plate.

My co-workers were a big help and we encouraged and ragged on each other about eating and going to work out. The first five weeks were brutal. Every time Katrina turned around I would stop doing whatever exercise we were doing. It was so hard, so tiring! Damn her perkiness!  But her attitude was infectious, I kept coming back.

Change was slow, I noticed my pants were not so tight. I looked down one day and SAW my belt, not my gut. I had to get a hole punched in my belt to make it tighter. Throughout the Spring and into summer, I saw that my shorts were slipping off, my t-shirts looked bigger than I remember.  It was working. With apologies to VISA, the cost of having slacks altered were $50, holes punched in my belt and having to go shopping for smaller clothes, Priceless.

Once the weight started coming off the mood starting improving, self-esteem came back, I was not afraid of a mirror and when people at work started commenting and complimenting, then the motivation really kicked in. Katrina made us weigh in every Tuesday so binge-eating on the weekend was out!  Things I used to eat all of, my wife and I started to split. The snowball effect kicked in and I found it easier to walk by all those things that are so good but not good for you. I'm not eating rice cakes, I'm just being smarter about what I eat. The days of 16-oz steaks, baked potato and bread have been replaced with 6-8 oz steaks with a salad and a vegetable.

Let me be clear, I had to make up my mind to make the change in my lifestyle. Katrina though, keeps me pointed in the right direction, works our tails off (no fun intended) with a variety of exercises that keep me leaner, healthier and self-conscious of what I can do. It is December, 2010 (all my sweaters are HUGE!) and I am down to 235and slowly dropping.  I have started playing basketball at the YMCA again (my first love) and find that I can get up and down the court at the same time everyone else does!  

Without her help, I would have had the desire but not the means.  I love her and curse her, often in the same breath, but shes kept me on the right path.  I feel better, and ugly mug notwithstanding, look better as well.  The power of want met the power of make-it-happen and I'm a better person for it.

248 lbs
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Email: katrinanavarro@me.com

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